Clayton Kershaw picks up 20th win as Dodgers top Cubs, 14-5


Despite missing several starts due to an injury early in the year, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw picked up his 20th win of the season on Friday at Wrigley Field, as the southpaw and his club rolled to a 14-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.

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Kershaw (20-3, 1.80 ERA) struck out nine over five innings, allowing three earned on seven hits and three walks – in a start that was uncharacteristic for the left-hander of late. Friday marked the first time in over a month that he allowed three earned runs in a start, and also the seventh consecutive time he has notched at least eight strikeouts.

Los Angeles (88-66) staked its southpaw to a six-run advantage before he even set foot on the mound, at the expense of Cubs’ starter Edwin Jackson, who was making his first start since Aug. 20. Jackson (6-15, 6.38 ERA) failed to make it out of the first, pitching just two-thirds of an inning, serving up five runs on four hits – including a three-run home run off the bat of Matt Kemp. After a Juan Uribe RBI single, A.J. Ellis added a two-run shot off left-hander Eric Jokisch, who would be charged with three runs – one earned – in 3 1/3 innings on the mound.

In Jackson’s last eight innings, he’s allowed a staggering 17 runs – and with two years left on his four-year, $52 million deal – the Cubs will no doubt be taking a good, long look at what role the right-hander can serve moving forward. Chicago (68-86) answered back with three runs in the bottom of the first, thanks to an Anthony Rizzo RBI double, Jorge Soler RBI triple and Rafael Lopez sacrifice fly – but the Los Angeles offense was just getting started.

After plating a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third, the Dodgers put together their second six-run inning of the game in the sixth, which was capped by a mammoth three-run home run off the bat of Yasiel Puig that landed on Waveland Ave. beyond the left-field bleachers.

Chicago showed fight late, scoring twice in the ninth, thanks to an Arismendy Alcantara RBI double and a run-scoring single off the bat of John Baker. However, despite pounding out 11 hits, the Cubs left 22 men on base – seven of whom can be attributed to rookie middle infielder Javier Baez, who went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in the loss. No player managed more than one hit for Chicago outside of Chris Valaika, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Puig, Kemp, Ellis, Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon all tallied two hits apiece for Los Angeles, which extended its lead in the National League West by a half-game, to three games over the Giants. San Francisco is in action on Friday night on the road against San Diego.